Since early childhood, I have struggled to draw things from my imagination. The other day, I pushed myself to come up with things to draw. I got this idea, and it wasn’t crystal clear, but it was a place to start. I made a small thumbnail sketch, something I can’t remember ever having done before. I think this is also technically my first mixed media piece!
Here is the thumbnail sketch, with some colored pencil to experiment with colors:
Then I created a similar image on 140lb Mixed Media paper, so I could use watercolor and colored pencil. I outlined the droplet in thick sharpie for definition and kept the other details fine (before I ultimately decided on the background).
I started with watercolor. I tried to give the droplet some depth, imagining a light source coming from the left, where I saved a highlight. I ended up adding some different shades of purple as well, for variety. The painting part was a challenge, since I am so new to watercolor/ painting in general and therefore new to mixing, but despite how different the piece is from how I originally imagined it, I think it turned out well. It was not my intention for this piece to concentrate on detail and realism. Instead, I was trying to get an idea across in a simple way.
At first, I copped out and didn’t do a background. I was so afraid that I would ruin it! (Which I have done in the past.) But there was clearly something missing, and that turned out to be black. I had to cover over my signature and move it, but that wasn’t a big deal. I think there’s a pretty drastic difference:
I love how this turned out! I think the black background really makes the image “pop.” But I don’t know if I will be doing any more solid backgrounds in colored pencil. Not only does my hand hurt from excessive coloring and blending, but I’m left with less than half of a pencil that started out basically unused. I don’t know if it shows in the picture one way or another, but I tried to make all the strokes in the same direction (from top to bottom—turning the paper quite a few times) except right around the image and on the edges.
After this, I’m excited to try my hand at more illustration-style/ mixed media pieces.
Drop, watercolor, Sharpie and colored pencil on Mixed Media paper, 2018 (11×14)